Quick guide to the collegiate eligibility regulations and their application to the collegiate eligibility waiver requests.
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In order to be in good standing with USA Rugby and, therefore, eligible to participate in sanctioned and postseason competition, a club must
- Be registered as a club for the current membership cycle
- Maintain a registered and Level 200 Certified coach on the club roster
- Maintain a roster minimum of nine players for sevens competition and fifteen players for fifteens competition
- Be considered in good standing with the college/university it represents and the conference or local governance of which it is a member
Collegiate Eligibility Window and Participation Limit
- Each student-athlete is provided with a seven year window of collegiate eligibility, beginning the academic year immediately following secondary school graduation
- The graduation date of athletes awarded a Certificate of High School Equivalency is deemed to be the graduation date of his or her class, determined by the first year of high school enrollment
- There are no exceptions made to the seven year window for collegiate rugby eligibility
- During the seven year window, a student-athlete may participate in up to five years of college or adult rugby before expiring their collegiate eligibility
- All adult fifteen-a-side participation, including all participation following an athlete's 18th birthday, expires collegiate eligibility
- There are no exceptions made to the five year collegiate participation limit
- All participation in an athlete's sixth or seventh year following high school graduation requires a waiver of eligibility
- Players must remain in compliance with all applicable amateur standards
- A student-athlete may only representing the school in which (s)he is enrolled in qualifying competition
- Student-athletes must be enrolled full-time as an undergraduate in their first degree or certificate seeking program
- Student-athletes must be in good-standing as defined by the university or college registrar
- Those student-athletes in their final two undergraduate academic terms may carry less than a full-time academic load
- Participation as a student enrolled less than full-time requires approval from the eligibility committee via waiver of eligibility
- Participation as a student enrolled less than full-time requires a letter from the office of the registrar irming that the student is a graduating senior
Participation under consortium agreement may be approved by the eligibility committee upon submission of an eligibility waiver request. It is the only circumstance in which an athlete can represent a school (s)he does not attend in qualifying competition. Consortium agreements between universities will be recognized by USA Rugby provided that:
- There is an academic connection between the universities; and
- The campuses are in reasonable geographic proximity; and
- There is a formal academic connection between the universities by which the student is considered to be enrolled on a full-time basis by the home Institution (the college fielding the rugby team). This status MUST be verified by the Registrar on the USA Rugby Roster form, prior to the student participating in any League/Qualifying match for the school. The player is considered to be ineligible for any League/Qualifying match for the school until this status has been confirmed by means of Registrar written or stamped approval. OR,
- There is a written agreement in place for all recreational club sports.
A student-athlete may maintain eligibility after completing and/or receiving an undergraduate degree if that student-athlete is enrolled full-time in post-graduate studies (graduate school or pursuance of an additional bachelor's degree) provided that the student has received their undergraduate degree from a domestic institution and falls within all other collegiate eligibility regulations.
- All graduate participation in collegiate rugby requires approval from the eligibility committee via waiver of eligibility
A student--athlete competing for an institution utilizing the quarter system is eligible through the National Championships of that Academic Year if he/she graduated at the end of the winter quarter.
- Participation after graduation from an institution operating under the quarter system requires approval from the eligibility committee via waiver of eligibility
- Participation after graduation from an institution operating under the quarter system requires a letter from the office of the registrar attesting to both utilization of the quarter system and winter quarter graduation, if not detailed on official transcripts
The grandfather clause is available only to student-athletes registered as college members during the 2011/2012 academic year. It will only provide additional eligibility to those athletes that did not enroll in college or university directly following secondary school. Grandfather clause eligibility provides five years of non-extendable collegiate eligibility from the moment a player first enrolled in a tertiary program.
- All participation under the grandfather clause requires approval from the eligibility committee via eligibility waiver request
Collegiate Student-Athletes Under 18 & Under 19 Collegiate Student-Athletes Participating in the Front Row
At the onset of each membership cycle it is necessary to identify any U18 participants in your college rugby program and any U19 athletes that may participate in the front row. All such players must complete a U18/U19 Participation in College Rugby participation waiver. This waiver need be kept with all other club records for no less than three years to ensure insurance coverage for the participant and the club.
Athletic or academic scholarships, work-study grants, or stipends are allowable under this provision for student-athletes that attend an institution for the purpose of participation with the rugby club or team in addition to their academic requirements.
- A foreign academy development contract player may receive actual and necessary living expenses and tuition assistance from the academy provided the player is enrolled full-time in an accredited educational institution and is in good-standing with the institution during the entire period for which the player is under contract. The player will not be eligible in any case if the enrollment with a USA college or university occurs in the last semester of the player's potential USA Rugby collegiate eligibility.
- A college player may receive compensation from the PRO Rugby organization and retain their collegiate eligibility provided the player
- joins the PRO Rugby competition after his college 15s season has ended for the year
- has received an approved USA Rugby membership waiver, and
- re-enrolls in college within two semesters of the end of that year's PRO Rugby competition